Five Tips to Effective Salesforce® System Governance

Tip #1- Security is Critical

Limit System Administration Level Access

  • A Salesforce User with the System Administrator Profile has full system administration level access, giving them the ability to delete all data and configurations. This presents an enormous security risk for companies.

  • There should be no more than one, or two, full System Administrators. If additional users need administrative privileges, Delegated Administrator settings should be used.

Minimize Number of Profiles

  • Keep the overall number of profiles to a minimum as well as ensure that no profiles (other than the System Administrator) have unauthorized access to Controllers.

  • Ensure that you limit the number of users who have access to all records- especially delete ability. Users should only have access to the records they need. And you can block the ability to export records for certain users if required.

Deactivate Departing Employees Immediately

  • Salesforce is a web-based application, not an internally housed application, and companies sometimes forget that although the user may have been deactivated from all internal company systems and networks upon their termination by IT, Salesforce continues to run and be accessible over the web to all active users with a user name and password.

  • Departing employees need to be have their Salesforce access frozen or deactivated immediately.

Tip #2- Your Master Data Management Strategy

Ensure Proper Ownership of Records

  • Deactivating a user does not change record ownership. This means that (depending on the organizational settings) all the Lead, Contact, Account, Case and other records that may have been connected to a deactivated user may no longer be visible or accessible by other users. Ensure that all records have an active user owner.

Re-format and Standardize Phone Numbers, States and Countries

  • Phone number formats and entries for States and Countries can vary. Phone numbers may have dashes, dots, slashes or just digits.

  • Running periodic clean ups to ensure the formatting is consistent helps keep your data organized. Review fields with value lists for inconsistent or rogue values.

Clean up Old Opportunities, Cases and Leads

  • Ensure there is a process for closing or removing old opportunities, cases and leads.

  • Lead buckets often accumulate tens - or hundreds of thousands of unqualified leads which are never converted to Accounts nor removed.

Have a Process for Removing Duplicate Records

  • Duplicate records wreak havoc on your Salesforce system, yet many companies have no established process for de-duplicating records.

  • When duplicate records proliferate, users lose trust in the system; notes and opportunities are recorded inside the wrong records, and reports and dashboards become inaccurate.

  • There are many tools for identifying and merging or removing duplicate Leads, Contacts, Accounts and other records.

Perform System Scans to Identify and Remove Unused Fields

  • Frequently there is a proliferation of fields into which users are not entering any data. Unnecessary fields clutter up the user interface and should be removed.

  • There are many tools are available to scan your Salesforce Instance to identify which fields and objects are, or are not being utilized.

  • In a recent analysis of multiple client Orgs, we identified that less than 33% of fields were being populated on more than 5% of the total number of available records and another 33% of fields were never populated - no data in them whatsoever - on even a single record.

Implement Daily System Backups

  • There are many third-party solutions available for backing up your Salesforce instance.

  • Backups are inexpensive and can provide the ability to restore the system or records as of a certain date. Backups should retain copies of record data as well as system metadata.

Tip #3- Communicate Your Strategy

Identify Object Captains

  • Object Captains are individuals who are assigned responsibility for a specific object. For example, a sales leader may be the Object Captain for the Account record; a marketing leader would own the Lead Record.

  • While making changes to objects is a collaborative exercise (and there may be co-captains, assigning ultimate ownership to an object, identifies someone with ensuring fields and features are utilized or removed and that objects are properly maintained – including value list choices inside the object.

Create a Salesforce Administration Object to Document Everything

  • All system and administrative changes should be documented somewhere.

  • The Case object can be used, but creating a separate object called the Administration Object assigns a special area to make notes about any changes made to the Salesforce system.

Don’t Schedule Meetings Too Frequently

  • Some organizations get in the habit of scheduling governance calls or meetings monthly or even weekly. There is often nothing new, or significant to discuss, and participants become bored and tune out. In addition, there can be dozens of invitees, even if there is nothing relevant for them specifically.

  • Schedule governance meetings when there is something useful to discuss. And using the ‘Object Captain’ concept can help identify who really needs to be involved in a specific governance discussion, limiting marginal attendees who add little value and slow down the process.

Avoid Custom Development Where Possible

  • There are often many ways to achieve a desired feature or function within Salesforce. Many organizations quickly default to custom development to add a feature. But having thorough conversations about the best way to accomplish something is critical.

  • There may be standard functionality that can solve the problem, or even a third-party app or managed package that can be installed. The more ideas, the better.

Tip #4- Manage Your Users

Enhance the User Profile Record

  • The User Profile Record is the record about your Salesforce users. Profile naming typically represents access level and may not provide much information about a specific user.

  • It is helpful to add a field to list a user’s direct supervisor as well as ensure the user’s title is noted and updated as their position changes- even a field on the User record with a brief description of the individual’s specific job.

Create a Salesforce Request Object

  • A Salesforce Request Object is a custom object which allows users to report problems, submit feature requests, or simply request assistance.

  • Chatter can also be used to allow users to submit requests. This provides a method for users to communicate with you about various issues and for those notes to be captured and maintained.

Tip #5- Train Your Users

Ongoing Training is Key

  • Ensure that new hires are adequately trained in all areas of the system they will need access to. As features are changed or added, ensure there is a comprehensive process for delivering training to all groups of users; users may be scattered around multiple offices, remote sites or even continents.

  • Training should be made available in multiple languages if the situation demands it. If you have Partner Users, ensure that training is provided to them as well.

Develop Power Users

  • There are typically individuals inside the company with a high level of technical competence. These users will embrace the functionality as well as provide new ideas for feature improvements and helpful Apps to consider.

  • Formally identifying these ‘Salesforce Power Users’ and harnessing their excitement about, and familiarity with the system can provide a team of potential training experts who are close to the new users who need training.


The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors. Examples cited in this article are only examples. They should not be utilized in real-world situations as they are based only on limited and dated open source information. Salesforce®, Salesforce1 Mobile App™, AppExchange®, Chatter® are trademarks of, inc.

© 2018 Edgemont CRM, LLC. All Rights Reserved – February 2018

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